08/19/2011 6:40AM

Ruidoso: Ochoa fastest qualifier to All American Futurity


Ochoa emerged as the fastest qualifier for next month’s Grade 1, $2.4 million All American Futurity for Quarter Horses on Thursday, when he won the 14th of 26 trials held at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico. The marathon card started at 9 a.m. Mountain, with the final race going off at 6:45 p.m.

Ochoa covered 440 yards in 21.07 seconds, closing from sixth for a half-length win over second-fastest qualifier Lotta Love for Robyn. Ochoa won over a track rated good, with the surface condition changing a bit  throughout the card. He came into the race off a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Ruidoso Futurity on June 12. There were 246 horses vying for the 10 spots in the finale Sept. 5.

Jacky Martin, a seven-time winner of the All American, rode Ochoa for trainer Sleepy Gilbreath, who has won two runnings of the Labor Day classic. Martin won seven trials in all Thursday, and qualified four horses to the 10-horse finale: Ochoa; Mr Ease 123, also trained by Gilbreath; Tee Cos, for trainer Paul Jones; and Denver Pass for trainer Blane Wood.  

The complete list of qualifiers with times, trainers, jockeys, and times are: Ochoa, Gilbreath, Martin, 21.07; Lotta Love for Robyn, John Bassett, Saul Ramirez Jr., 21.14; Tee Cos, Jones, Martin, 21.15; Jess Cuervo, Raymond Vargas, G.R. Carter Jr., 21.21; Jess Send Me, Blane Wood, Ricky Ramirez, 21.30; Denver Pass, Wood, Martin, 21.33; Lethal Volt, Wood, Ramirez, 21.33; Big Daddy Cartel, Jones, Esgar Ramirez, 21.34; Bills Last, Carlos Sedillo, Carter, 21.36; and Mr Ease 123, Gilbreath, Martin, 21.39.